East Timor emergency state extended

Move comes as body of rebel, killed during an attack on president, is returned home.

    Reinado was killed in a failed assassination
    attempt on East Timor's president [AFP]
    'Peace and normalcy'

    Gusmao said the extension would ensure residents "live in peace and normalcy" following Monday's shootings, which left Jose Ramos-Horta, the country's president, critically wounded.

    Parliamentarians later agreed, with 30 votes in favour and 14 abstaining.
    Meanwhile earlier on Wednesday, about 500 relatives and supporters massed outside Alfredo Reinado's home as his body was moved there in preparation for burial on Thursday.

    Police officers and UN security forces monitored the area as his body arrived after undergoing an autopsy at a hospital morgue.

    Reinado, a former military police major, was as a leading figure in unrest in May 2006 that destabilised East Timor.

    International peacekeepers were dispatched to restore calm in the wake of fierce violence in the country, which became independent in 2002.


    Army desertion

    Reinado was a senior figure among about 600 soldiers who deserted East Timor's armed forces.

    Ramos-Horta is being treated in
    Australia for his injuries [AFP]


    The rebel soldiers said they were discriminated against because they originated from western districts.

    Reinado was arrested and jailed on illegal weapons, attempted murder and desertion charges, but later escaped prison.

    Ramos-Horta called off a hunt for him after the authorities failed to secure his arrest.

    Negotiations between the president and Reinado were cut short when Reinado's men stormed the president's residence on Monday.

    Reinado was shot dead and Ramos-Horta was hit by two or three bullets in the ensuing battle.

    Maria Luisa, one of Reinado's neighbours, said on Wednesday: "This happened because the leaders adjourned a dialogue with him and that made him stressed and out of control."

    Ramos-Horta is being treated in Australia for his injuries and doctors say he is expected to make a full recovery.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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